Columbia has a news digest site they call Newsblaster which is the best I’ve ever seen. Each news category has a summary auto-synthesized out of a slew of articles that their crawler finds. Unlike Google news, which just pastes together the lead sentences of several stories, Columbia does some sophisticated processing on the text to actually pick out and rank the most relevant sentences. Then it figures out how to stitch them together.
The second site is Agonist, which is a blog by Sean-Paul Kelley. Very good compilations.
Marciej has an interesting thought: “You can imagine how useful good auto-generated summaries would be in a blog aggregator/categorization tool.” We should think about doing this…I too have often thought of how a summarizer could be a good thing to have.